The Wild Brilliance of Symphogear

Hell yeah I wrote an article about Symphogear. FUCK yeah. The new season’s streaming situation is still up in the air, but it still felt like the appropriate time to hype the hell out of the previous three seasons. Symphogear is a treasure, and more people deserve to be introduced to its brilliance. SYYYYYMMMMPHOOOOOOOGEAARRRRRRRR.

The Wild Brilliance of Symphogear

Symphogear GX – Review

And we’re back! After a brief detour to watch every friggin’ episode of K-On!, I’ve returned to finally catch up on the summer’s most symphogear of attractions. I had fun with this one, but honestly didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the last two, and for pretty predictable reasons. The most structurally understandable reason is that this season went for something Symphogear has historically not been terribly good at – more investment in its actual narrative and character journeys. But even that would have worked well enough if the show had stuck the landing, and personally I felt the last few episodes of this season were some of the weakest of the show so far. It particularly hurt that the show knocked off all the Autoscorers before the finale – they were always more fun to battle with than Carol herself, who basically just battled with DBZ beams. But still, Symphogear is Symphogear. I enjoyed this season well enough, and I’ll probably enjoy the next one too.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below!

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Fall 2015 – Week 8 in Review

It’s Wednesday again, which means time once more for the ol’ week in anime! And this week in anime was… well, it was a week in anime. Not really all that much to report, frankly – pretty much everything maintained a fairly even keel, acting more or less in the ways you’d expect them to act. The biggest outlier this time was The Perfect Insider, in that it was both very good and good in ways that defied standard expectations, but everything else existed within its expected parameters. That said, there’s still plenty of finer details to sift through, and I actually watched a fair amount of non-weekly anime this week, so don’t worry, I’ll make today’s tour worth your while. So pull up a comfortable chair and let’s RUN ‘EM DOWN.

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Symphogear G – Review

I mean, did you think I wasn’t gonna keep watching Symphogear? Symphogear is goddamn awesome, of course I’m gonna keep watching it. G is actually even more “focused Symphogear” than the first season, which was really fun to talk about in a review context. The show plays in what might traditionally be considered “so bad it’s good” territory, where I find the drama as presented totally ineffective according to traditional storytelling metrics (I don’t actually care about the emotional problems of the characters, for example), but still brilliantly entertaining as narrative absurdity. And so I basically gave the show’s story a very fond C, where its very issues are what make it great. I could easily see the argument that this means the show’s story is successful, but considering either of these responses amount to “I had fun with it” and my review is overwhelmingly positive anyway, I think that’s a kind of hair-splitting distinction. Symphogear’s great, G was a solid sequel, bring on GX!

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my episodic notes below!

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Summer 2015 – Week 13 in Review

Hot damn it’s Wednesday. And a very special Wednesday at that – the final Wednesday of summer season 2015, possibly the weakest anime season since I started doing week in review posts. That’s actually worked out okay for me, though – given the relative scarcity of airing shows I cared about, I’ve been able to burn through all sorts of backlog and review material, getting through Love Live S2, Saekano, The Idolmaster, and Turn A Gundam all in record time. Plus I’ve gotten to watch Paranoia Agent weekly, and there still have been a couple airing shows worth their salt. So let’s start right there, with a show that’s consistently worked to engage its audience on multiple levels and challenge our conceptions of what anime can really be about.

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The Intoxicating Lure of Idol Anime

No escaping it now, apparently. I’m stuck in idol hell, so I might as well document the whole process, to save future generations from this dire fate. This is a sprawling article, one that covers my experience at the Love Live! movie, my time spent with four separate idol anime, some thoughts on that whole Database, Database thing, and more besides. It’s a bit more of a personal reflection than the stuff I normally do, but I hope you enjoy it. This past year has definitely been quite a ride.

The Intoxicating Lure of Idol Anime

The Idolmaster

Symphogear – Review

To the surprise of no one, it turns out I wrote up a review for good ol’ Symphogear. This show was a trip and a half, and I hope I was able to convey some of that in my text. It’s a little weird “evaluating” a show like Symphogear – I mean, metric-based evaluation is always weird, because art doesn’t really work that way, but with a show like Symphogear it’s even more difficult than usual. Normally, I can sort of fudge the reality that the intersection of narrative storytelling and aesthetic execution can only really be discussed in, well, discussion-oriented terms, and vaguely declare that one show is “better at what it’s trying to do” (relative to my valuation of the merit of its inherent goals etc etc) than another. But Symphogear is good because its story is a mess, so it’s a bit tougher to judge.

Anyway. Did my best. You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my episodic notes below!

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Summer 2015 – Week 8 in Review

Ah crap it’s Wednesday. Things were actually looking pretty dire for the week in review this time, considering Gatchaman Crowds took the week off. That’s basically the only show I’m watching weekly that lends itself to more than a shrugging gladiatorial up-or-down thumb, so with that out of the picture, what could I even talk about? Could I really spin Prison School and Monster Musume into four paragraphs of discussion? Maybe I could… maybe I could just talk about my favorite lunches of the week? Actually that’s not the worst idea, but either way, my worries ended up being unfounded, because this week I watched the entire first season of SYMPHOGEAAAAAAR.

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